Our team of specialist lawyers provide advice about all employment and immigration matters. From assisting corporate clients, where our focus is on improving their business in innovative and forward-thinking ways, to supporting high net worth individuals on their personal requirements.
From assisting corporate clients, where our focus is on improving their business in innovative and forward-thinking ways, to supporting high net worth individuals on their personal requirements.
We support our international clients with the full range of employment issues, and we have extensive experience of advising clients on matters that have cross-jurisdiction elements. Our specialist areas include:
- Health and Safety
- Employee Benefits
UK employment and immigration
In the UK, employees’ legal rights and protections are primarily defined governed by a combination of the contract of employment and statutory rules and regulations.
The law imposes certain minimum requirements on employers in respect of all Employees and Workers (a category of individuals who are not employees but are contracted to provide personal services without being self-employed); for example, an obligation to pay a national minimum hourly wage; to meet annual holiday or rest break rights; to provide time off in certain circumstances and, in some cases, with statutory levels of pay; to comply with working hours limits and to provide notice of termination, which all employers must observe as minimum requirements, albeit many decide to improve on these minimum standards.
Employees, workers and self-employed contractors are also entitled to written confirmation of key terms, protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation as well as protection from detriment and dismissal on grounds of making a protected disclosure (whistleblowing). In addition, there is also protection for part time employees and fixed term workers.
The Data Protection Act 2018, together with the General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), govern the way employers can collect, store, process and transfer personal information concerning their employees.
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) protects employees where the business in which they work is based in the UK and is transferred from one legal party to another; it can also apply in many outsourcing/insourcing situations. Where TUPE applies, it places obligations on the parties to the transaction to undertake certain pre-transfer information and consultation, as well as to collate and provide certain employee information.
The UK has strict requirements in relation to the employment of workers who are migrants from outside the UK and operates a points-based immigration system. Employers who wish to employ such workers need to become licensed sponsors.
Penalties for employing workers who are in the UK illegally can be substantial – up to £20,000 per worker – and it is a criminal offence to employ someone knowing that they do not have the legal right to work in the UK.
We advise UK and international organisations on achieving their strategic HR and people-based goals and our team prides itself on delivering highly complex, high-profile transactions for our clients.
Our specialist lawyers have a deep-rooted knowledge of the latest trends and proven experience in providing a comprehensive service and negotiating the best transactional outcome for their clients. Examples of our recent international experience includes:
- Supporting a client with its European wide programme of changes to terms and conditions, leading the project from the UK and instructing locally based advisers on behalf of the client to ensure a consistent approach is taken across all jurisdictions in which it operates
- Advising a US based client on a corporate transaction involving multiple jurisdictions, specifically on the employment aspects of the UK transaction and co-ordinating and advising upon workforce due diligence exercises in three separate jurisdictions
- Supporting a UK based client with a substantial offshoring project to India, assisting with both the UK employment law (TUPE) implications, also collaborating with advisers in India to ensure the client’s compliance with all local rules and requirements in connection with its offshoring project; and
- Advising a Canadian based corporate client on establishing a new business operation in the UK, including supporting with UK work permit requirements to support key managers to work in the UK to establish the business
We regularly work with a host of international partner specialist law firms with whom we have long standing relationships, meaning we can offer our clients advice on their matters regardless of which country they are ordinarily based in.